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December 13, 2011 / Wythe

d6 RPG System

This is P.D.’s version of the game/rules system that he (plays Zylla), P.M. (plays Veli), and I (DM) have been developing. I’m going to post much more on this in days to come, but the basics are all here, where we last left them—incomplete, but enticing. Our basic motivation was to develop something for one-off adventures, but we of course grew more ambitious…

d6 RPG System

(for general adventure)

This RPG system is designed to facilitate games with low rules-overhead. The goal is to capture what is most important/iconic about a particular character in order to get directly to the game. It is also designed to be played with only one kind of dice: the d6. This is far and away the most common die, and should be available almost anywhere you go.

Moreover, the system is designed to work with only about five minutes of prep time and very little explanation of rules.  This makes it appealing a) for one-off adventures in between normal sessions of a campaign, and also b) for introducing players unfamiliar with RPGs to the form, their major archetypes (“fighter,” “thief,” “wizard/tech/psion,” etc.), and the general idea that, in these games, “rolling dice + adding modifiers = outcome is determined.”

Basic Character Creation – Traits and Types

There are many different ways to generate new characters, and whoever is running a particular game should determine the exact method, but all characters in the system will have a few things in common.

The Traits

Every character has 6 basic Traits. Each Trait is scored from 1 (Terrible) to 6 (God-like). An average person leading an average life would score a 2 in any given Trait. The six traits are:

  1. PHYSIQUE – how much you can bench press, but also how many punches you can take before collapsing.
  2. QUICKNESS – how quick you can think and notice things, but also how quick you can act and react.
  3. INTELLECT – how many actual facts you have stuffed away in your brain, but also how good you are at applying them or learning new ones.
  4. WISDOM – how well exert control over your own actions, but also how well you determine the cause of that control.
  5. CHARISMA – how well you can control and flatter people with your actions, but also how hot or attractive you are.
  6. LUCK – when it comes down to it, how often do things go your way when they have no business doing so.

The Archetypes

Every new character will be of one Type. This Type defines what sort of things your character is good at, and can encompass their personality, their body, their background, their job.

The HERO – Who leads (reluctantly or otherwise)—quarterback, sergeant, paladin. Strong and tough but has the ill luck to be responsible…the key trait for the Hero is Physique.
PHY: 3 QUI: 2 INT: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2  LUC: 2

The MADMAN – Who knows the “Truth”—fanatical DA, terrorist, freedom fighter, messiah. The Madman’s key trait is Quickness. Quick to anger, quick to jump to conclusions, quick to notice what other do not (or will not).
PHY: 2 QUI: 3 INT: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2  LUC: 2

The GENIUS – Who knows everything—psychic spy, weird scientist, wizard. Smart (duh) but sort of an asshat. Key trait: Intellect.
PHY: 2 QUI: 2 INT: 3 WIS: 2 CHA: 2  LUC: 2

The SAINT – Who loves without reciprocity—nurse/doctor, mother, weed dealer, storyteller. Stable and patient but, well, patient to a fault (read: slow to finally shoot the giant evil thing eating his teammates). Wisdom is the key trait of the Saint.
PHY: 2 QUI: 2 INT: 2 WIS: 3 CHA: 2  LUC: 2

The MIMIC – Who cares only for appearances, relationships (both people and politics)–con man, politician, serial killer. The Mimic relies on Charisma.
PHY: 2 QUI: 2 INT: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 3  LUC: 2

The HAPLESS – Who simply wants to get out alive—bank clerk, bystander, innocent. The Hapless cares only for Luck.
PHY: 2 QUI: 2 INT: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2  LUC: 3

Additional Character Stats – Combat, Skills, Quirks


In addition to walking around having conversations, your characters may very well encounter things that are DANGEROUS. For dangerous situations, every character has the following scores:

  • HP (Health Points): how much damage you can take. Your max HP is equal to PHYS x 6 (most 1characters have 12 HP). If you reach 0 HP, you are unconscious.
  • HS (Hit Skill): your hit skill is how good you are at hitting things with melee attacks. The higher the Hit Skill, the more punches you can throw, and the more likely they are to hit.
  • SS (Shoot Skill): how good you are at shooting at things accurately. The higher it is, the more shots you can fire, and the more accurate.


(Optional?)  Your characters can try and do pretty much anything, but there are somethings they are better at than others. Every skill is rated in two ways: your level with that skill, and the contributing Traits. In order to attempt a “Skill Check” you roll Xd6 where X is your level in that skill, then you add the values of your contributing Traits to the result. If the total is above the Difficulty of the task (determined by the GM) then you succeed.

Example: Grant Nettles (Hero) has a PHYS of 3. He dives into the river to pursue the Fleeing Thief. He rolls an Athletics Check to see how well he swims. He has 2 leves in Athletics so he rolls 2d6: and gets 3 and 5. Then he adds his PHYS of 3 twice for a total of (3+5+3+3=) 14. Swimming is easy (Difficulty of ~5) so he swims successfully. The Fleeing Thief also rolls a swim check and gets only a 7, so the GM rules that Grant is gaining on him.

Once on the other side, Grant must climb the slippery rock-face. He rolls another Athletics Check against climbing (this time Difficulty 10) and roll 2d6: 1 and 3. (1+3+3+3=)10. He just barely makes it. Once at the top of rock-face, the Fleeing Thief ducks into a building and slams the door shut. It’s locked! Grant tries a Hand-Eye check to try and pick the lock (Difficulty 15). Luckily, he has 3 level in Hand-Eye. He rolls 3d6: 2, 5, 6 and then adds his QUI(2) and INT(2) for a total of (2+5+6+2+2) 17. The lock is no match for Grant, and the door swings open.

Inside the warehouse, Grant can’t see the Fleeing Thief, and there are catwalks everywhere. The GM asks Grant to roll a Perception check to see if he can glimpse a trail. Grant only has 1 rank in Perception, so he rolls 1d6: 2. He adds his WIS(2) twice, for a total of (2+2+2=) 6. The GM tells him he sees no sign of the Thief. He must wait, or pick a path randomly…

  1. Academics (INT/INT) – Folklore, the Humanities, Language/Linguistics, Science (any, specify which).
  2. Athletics (PHYS/PHYS) – Climb, Run, Swim, Wrassle
  3. Bushcrafts (QUI/WIS) – Animal Handling (including breaking in a mount, but not riding), Botanicals (applied botany), Fire Building, Homeopathy, Survival Skills, Tracking
  4. Crafts (QUI/INT) – Build, Brew, Repair, Dismantle (all may require Hand-Eye checks, if the crafts being created are very small)
  5. Deception (CHA/WIS) – Act (theatrically, also requires a Performance check), Advertise, Bluff/Persuade, use Diplomacy (may require a Law check), Disguise (may require a Crafts check), Intimidate, Make a Speech, Market/Sell, Negotiate (may require a Law check)
  6. Economics (INT/WIS) – Accounting, Appraise, Barter/Haggle (also requires a Deception check, unless you’re really not trying to fuck over your customer), Business/Profession/Trade (any, specify which)
  7. Hand-Eye [Fine Motor] Skills (QUI/INT) – Disable, Sleight-of-Hand, Open Locks, Surgery, Pick Pockets
  8. Kinesthetics (QUI/QUI) – Acrobatics/Tumbling, Escape, Hide, Ride, Stealth
  9. Law (INT/CHA) – Bribery (may require a Deception check as well, if undercutting the bribee), Bureaucracy, Law, Politics, Statecraft
  10. Medicine (WIS/INT) – First Aid/Heal, Medical Science, Pharmacology, Psychology, 1/2 Surgery (Surgery = check Medicine, then Hand-Eye)
  11. Performance (QUI/CHA) – Dance (may require Athletics and/or Kinesthetics checks as well, depending on the dance), Perform Music, Perform Opera, Sing
  12. Perception (WIS/WIS) – Concentration, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot
  13. Piloting (QUI/INT) – Drive, Fly, Navigate, Operate Automaton or Robot (may require a Hand-Eye check as well, if the controls are physically difficult to manipulate), Sail

The Quirks

In addition to the archetype, stats, and any back story you may come up with (or be given) for your character, they can also be unique in other drastic ways. If you’re GM allows, you might be able to pick any from the tables below. Otherwise, for each “level” of the adventure, you should roll 2d6 — one to pick chart, and the second to pick Quirk from the tables below:

Quirks01 Personality

  1. HUMANE: you get +1 Willpower, but witnessing death of a human causes a Sanity check and causing the death of a human is auto. temp. insanity.
  2. TENACIOUS: whenever you are at 1/4 of your total HP, you add 1d6 to all combat rolls.
  3. JADED: you get -1d6 to any active Charisma roll. you get +1d6 to any reactive Charisma check.
  4. DELIBERATE: in combat, you always act last. you add +3 to the result of the first roll you make every round.
  5. DETERMINED: whenever you fail an Object Check, you must make a Willpower check or try again at +2 to the result (cumulative).
  6. HACKY: if you fail an Object Check, treat the result as a success, then destroy/disable the Object.

Quirks02 Combat Skills

  1. Kung-Fu: whenever you make a melee attack roll, if you roll a 7 treat it as a success (regardless of dodge) and do double damage. A roll of 12 or 2 hits and does triple.
  2. Tai-Chi: you may not make melee attacks. However, any time a melee attack misses you, you may do automatic Str damage to the attacker.
  3. Fancy Shot: whenever you make multiple ranged attacks, every attack is made at full Shoot Skill as long as each shot is at a different target.
  4. Crack-Shot: whenever you make a ranged attack, add +4 to any die that has an even result.
  5. Trained Disarm: you can choose to have a successful melee attack roll do no damage, and instead take any weapon from the defender (which you can use immediately, even that round)
  6. Butterfly Float: you add 1d6 to all dodge rolls.

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